Prestigious Award for Council's IT Manager

Chris, the head of the Tararua IT Alliance, has won the Excellence in Leadership Award for 2019, for information management and technology in Local Government. 

Chris received his prestigious award at the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) national conference in Wellington recently. 

Nominated for the award by Tararua District Council’s Joy Kopa, it is unusual for a person not directly employed by a Council to receive this award. 

“Chris has led our IT team for a very long time and he’s very good at it,” Kopa said. “We put all sorts of challenges to IT all the time and they deliver. Chris’ nomination was about his leadership of his team – it utterly made sense.”

Peter Wimsett, Council’s Manager of Strategy and District Development, said the award is testament to the respect Chris has in the industry and the recognition by ALGIM of the Alliance contractual model of working together.

“Chris and the Master Business Systems (MBS) team have been seen as a key part of the Tararua District Council family, just like any other staff,” he said. “It is great to see Chris recognised by the industry through the Excellence in Leadership award. We’ve always known he was great and we thank him for the years of hard work and professionalism.”

Chris joined Master Business Systems in August 2002 after 15 years working in local government IT in the United Kingdom. He had initially emigrated from the UK with his family to settle in Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay. 

“Fortunately for MBS, Chris came knocking on the door in Dannevirke at a time when the IT services needs at the Tararua and Manawatu District Councils were growing fast,” Laurence Bevan, MBS Director, said. “He was a perfect fit for the company and the councils, initially starting in a technical role as network and systems administrator.”

When MBS expanded its services in 2004 Chris took over the role of IT Manager at both councils. 

“A major achievement for Chris in this role has been the implementation of new Local Government enterprise systems at both councils during this time,” Bevan said. “Now 15 years later he heads up the Tararua IT Alliance jointly with MBS and the Tararua District Council and the quality of the relationship between the two parties is testament to his confidence and knowledge of the Local Government industry.”

Chris said he’s very privileged to have been given the Excellence in Leadership award, but insisted it is always a team effort. 

“IT within Local Government is always new and interesting and we’re continually trying to get the best value for Council by collaborating with other Councils,” he said. 

Trying to get that best value for Council means a win for district ratepayers too and they will be pleased to learn Chris has no intention of moving on. 

“I’m quite happy to stay here,” he said. “It’s always challenging and it’s never boring.”


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